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Meditating With A Topsy Turvy Twist

Posted on November 1, 2019 at 12:50 AM

Free Topsy Turvy Yogi Children's Meditation at: https://youtu.be/x16CDKMVLHU

By, Jessica Brown

If you have been following our social media lately you know that we are currently working towards our 200-hour adult yoga training with the very talented Sinda Anzovino from Yoga Journey.


To quote the Grateful Dead, “What a long strange trip it’s been.” When I say “strange” I mean that in the best way possible. As working moms who wanted to explore all there was to know about yoga, the best way for us to get our training was a non-traditional path with a very traditional curriculum. Sinda, who has 20 plus years in the field, was just the right person to take us on. Since we began last May, the program has been extremely comprehensive, fun and challenging in all the right ways. All this while still allowing time for kids, husbands, work and everything that happens in life in between.


Amongst all of our assignments we keep a weekly journal of our learnings, experiments and of course feelings as we progress.


In this next series of blog posts Diana and I will share some of what we have been learning and how it applies to our first love....teaching kids!


I’ll begin my week with meditation. A few weeks ago we began practicing the different forms of meditation for adults. Not having many adults to practice on under my roof, I thought it would be a good idea to practice on my best guinea pigs…my kids.


I started with the “progressive meditation” since she is only 10 years old and has the attention span of a fly.


I like this form of meditation personally because I myself am no stranger to having the wiggles during savasina. With a progressive meditation you begin by physically releasing the tension in each major part of the body before actually resting. Of course, this also applies to the brain, the one most of us have the hardest time shutting off. Or at least putting on mute for 10 minutes.


This all sounds good for a grown up, but I wasn’t sure if this would hold up on a 10- year-old. After a few nights of experimenting, I like to say that for it to be successful the secret is in the sauce. My daughter like the scrunching and releasing of her body parts, but it wasn’t enough to completely relax her. Still determined to make this work I decided to add in some imagery. More specifically a short story or visual to give it a little bit more entertainment value.


Children, especially young ones, love when they are being told a story. That is basically the entire basis at which Topsy Turvy Yogi exists. When children are lead to believe they are having fun they are more likely to loosen up mentally and physically.


I know what you are thinking. Isn’t the point of meditation to loosen up? Not really. That is actually what yoga is for. To stretch the limbs, muscles and organs so that when you get to savasina you are ready to rest.


Children are no different. They just require a little more imagination than grown-ups do.


Then there is the key ingredient for children to be able to relax and that is the feeling of being safe. Very young children, think toddlers, love visuals that they can connect with to feel safe. Often in our classes we have rubber duckies, feathers or pom poms that serve as meditation tools that sit on their bellies. They are in charge of making these items move with their breathing, but they can’t touch. I know what you are going to ask. Yes, some of them DO touch. We aren’t miracle workers, though we’d like to think we are pretty close..ha! The point here is the connection with an object so that they can turn off for bit or at the very least keep their wiggles and giggles in check for a bit. Does this work you ask? Like adults it takes practice.


Over time they do understand that when that object is in place, it is time to rest.


The last ingredients are the sprinkles and cherry on top of the meditation cake. We all learn quickly with new babies that a soft touch and calm voice can be powerful super powers. I can still recall MANY afternoons during the witching hour sitting in my glider and holding by little one close to me singing John Denver for what seemed like close to an hour. Perhaps sometimes even longer.


For older children this might not be a reality (oh but how much we wish it still was!). That said, I challenge you to play with it a little.


Notice that I used the word “play.” If we combine all these things to traditional adult meditation practices, you may find that the result is quite successful.


For fun I added a video/audio of one of my progressive meditations that I put together for my daughter. Adding in the soothing effects of a color changing night light, I found that perfect recipe that helps my child relax after a long day.


Progressive meditation, dash of color, pinch of a soothing safe voice. Mixing it all together with some fun imagery and a sprinkle of love.


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